The group, guided by founder Billy Siegenfeld, was formed in 1990 and has since traveled the U.S. to spread its wealth of knowledge with people on the ever-changing facets of jazz music and dance.
A week-long series of events will surround the group beginning Tuesday with a screening of their documentary in the Charles V. Park Library Auditorium.
Open to both students and the community, the events were created to spread knowledge to people with different degrees of experience.
“While Jump Rhythm is on campus, there will be a wide variety of events taking place including dance classes, a lecture on American Rhythm Dancing and a viewing of the company’s Emmy-Award winning documentary,” said Heather Trommer-Beardslee, University Theatre Dance Company artistic director and program coordinator. “There is even a class on Thursday evening for people who do not identify themselves as dancers (because) we want everyone to have the opportunity to be involved.”
The week will conclude with a performance by Jump Rhythm Jazz Project in Plachta Auditorium on Saturday, with tickets available through Ticket Central. Prices range from $10 for students and $18 for the general public.
Many sponsors and hard-working CMU entities worked to make these events possible, including the CMU Office of the Provost, College of Communication and Fine Arts, the Department of Communication and Dramatic Arts, and University Theatre.
“I am excited to be involved in the planning of this event because this is going to be such a great opportunity for CMU and (the) extended community,” Trommer-Beardslee said. “This will be an excellent opportunity for my students to take (a) class with one of the great innovators of jazz and tap dance.”
According to the Jump Rhythm official website, the group is committed to touching lives through music, singing and dance to help people gain experience like nothing else.
“People who have seen a Jump Rhythm show or taken a Jump Rhythm class often comment on how ‘human’ the experience feels — how Jump Rhythm’s fusion of dancing and singing and emotion touches people in a deep part of themselves,” the website reads. “Dancing and singing in this human way defines the performance tradition that Jump Rhythm grew out of.”
The talent and mission of the group is not lost on students either, including Howell senior Ashlee Conway.
“I think that it’s neat that such a phenomenal organization is adventuring to Mount Pleasant,” Conway said. “Students could truly benefit from the energy and mission statements they have to offer. What better way to enforce their philosophies than through dance?”